LEARN ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY
EFFECTIVE, ECONOMICAL GREEN CONSTRUCTION
Mechanical Concrete® is a geo-synthetic technology. It reinvents the honeycomb geocell into a free standing,self-supporting geo-cylinder. With this independent geo-cylinder Mechanical Concrete® offers a quantum leap in strength, scalability and economy to soil and aggregate confinement systems. It does this by reusing one of society’s most important and high-quality industrial products. Its geo-cylinder is manufactured by removing both sidewalls from a scrapped, used auto tire. The tire-derived geo-cylinder is a low cost and high-strength, an unbeatable combination. Mechanical Concrete® is a strong, economical, tested and proven construction and maintenance product for road and highway bases and shoulders, earth retaining walls, bridge abutments, slope and channel protection and many other construction applications.
When you use Mechanical Concrete® you are ‘going green’ in a big way. Mechanical Concrete® was discovered while seeking a civil engineering re-use for waste tires, which are a major societal waste disposal problem. Each year the USA generates over 300 million waste automotive tires . That’s one tire per person per year. And each year an estimated 650,000 tons of inert tire dust from tire wear enters the environment. According to the US EPA, recyclers grind 80% of the waste tires into shreds. About half these recycled tires are burned as tire-derived-fuel, TDF , which has 25% more BTU’s per ton than coal. Mechanical Concrete® is the first, viable, economical reuse for large quantities of waste tires.
The US EPA hierarchy of solid waste management and environmental sustainability, ranks reduction and reuse of materials as the highest activities ahead of recycle, waste to energy and disposal. Because Mechanical Concrete® makes use of the worn tire’s unique, three-dimensional structural properties, it both reuses and reduces materials and makes ‘going green’ pay a dividend instead of being a cost. Mechanical Concrete® uses standard, waste automotive tires with both sidewalls removed as the tire-derived-geo-cylinder. These cylinders retain their structural tensile strength and function as the low cost, rugged, thin-walled, tensile cylinder to confine soils and aggregates. It reduces or eliminates the need for compaction on roadway and site bases. Mechanical Concrete® is approved on a project basis by the West Virginia Division of Highways Materials Division. The re-use of tire derived materials in civil engineering applications is encouraged by all state and federal environmental agencies.
Confinement by the tire-derived-geo-cylinder (TDGC) provides direct lateral support to the aggregate materials. Unreinforced soils and aggregates depend on internal friction to maintain their stability. When rains come this friction is reduced and ruts and potholes form. Mechanical Concrete® does not depend on internal friction in the soil or aggregates for its stability. The direct physical support provided by the tire-derived-geo-cylinder eliminates the water generated lateral failure mode in Mechanical Concrete® aggregate applications.
Mechanical Concrete® is a “rugged” material. ‘Ruggedness’ has a precise engineering definition. Ruggedness means the product, Mechanical Concrete®, has 1. engineering material ‘toughness’, which is defined as ‘the ability to absorb large amounts of energy’, and 2. a high design factor. Since ‘toughness’ is based on both strength and ductility it is a useful component in specifically defining ‘ruggedness’. For over the road truck loads Mechanical Concrete® tire-derived-geo-cylinder s have a design factor of greater than 3 against the original tires maximum operating pressure.
BROAD DIVERSE APPLICATIONS
Because of its strength and capacity to stabilize a wide range of aggregate materials Mechanical Concrete® has a variety of civil engineering applications. Mechanical Concrete® is a lab tested (West Virginia University Civil and Environmental Engineering Large Structures Lab) and field tested with full scale demonstration projects. It has been demonstrated in five states, WV, AZ, CA, OH, and PA. It’s a fast, low cost alternative to compacted stone aggregates and precast concrete wall facing products and processes in foundations, retaining walls, bridge abutments, and roadway and railroad bases and a variety of other applications. SEE USES . It’s an economical alternative for retaining wall structures, site stabilization, slope and channel erosion control, roadway shoulder, slip and trench and isolated pothole repair. Because of its high voids ratio, Mechanical Concrete® functions effectively in erosion control, drainage and storm water retention applications. It does this greener, faster and more economically than regular concrete products or traditional compacted unreinforced aggregates and soil stabilization methods.
EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMICS
In road way base and site stabilization applications Mechanical Concrete® saves money because it saves time, energy and spec rework and uses less aggregate. The product is instantly ready for use because the stone requires no compaction or curing. And because it is a “rugged” product it reduces maintenance by 50% or more and extends the life of the installation. . It costs a minimum 25% less than regular concrete or conventional soil stabilization processes. In retaining walls the savings is closer to 50%.
Like steel and reinforced concrete, basic engineering knowledge is required to safely, efficiently, and economically use and specify Mechanical Concrete®. We offer a certification program for established consulting engineers to design projects and a licensing program for contractors to build and install applications. Please call us to discuss your application. For technical papers and reports and to learn more about the research and development behind Mechanical Concrete® follow these links for technical papers:
• Field Reports
• Mechanical Concrete® Placement Guide
• Technical Reports
By using Mechanical Concrete® you are both ‘going green’ and sustainable. What makes Mechanical Concrete® green is that it doesn’t manufacture anything new to create a rugged construction confinement material. It actually re-uses the tread and casing portion of the auto tire based on its original design. This is about 70% of the tire. Sustainability is more complex. It is usually defined by four key characteristics; economic viability, technical feasibility, environmental friendliness, and social/cultural effectiveness. Mechanical Concrete® is economically viable. It reduces initial installation costs, maintenance costs, and life cycle costs. Mechanical Concrete® is technically feasible. It is stronger, more effective, easier to use, faster to install and delivers better outcomes than comparable confinement products. Mechanical Concrete® is environmentally friendly. It re-uses a ubiquitous societal waste, uses less siol or aggregate material for a better result, and uses less construction energy and labor. Mechanical Concrete® is socially supportive. It preserves scarce resources, improves human and machine productivity and because it is faster to build, it is less disruptive.